The Apple App Store appears to be removing outdated apps on a large scale

Apple may be cracking down on apps that no longer receive updates. at Screen captured email Sent to affected developers, titled “Application Improvement Notice,” Apple warns that it will remove apps from the App Store that haven’t been “updated in an extended period of time” and gives developers only 30 days to update them.

“You can keep this app available for new users to discover and download from the App Store by submitting an update for review within 30 days,” Apple wrote in the email. “If no update is provided within 30 days, the app will be removed from sale.” While Apple will remove old apps from the App Store, any previously downloaded apps will remain on users’ devices.

A number of app makers, such as Robert Capoy, developer of Protopop games, have expressed concerns about the change. capoy says on twitter Apple is threatening to remove its fully functional game, Motivoto, because it hasn’t been updated since March 2019.

Meanwhile, Kosta Eleftheriou, developer of the FlickType keyboard for Apple Watch, Apple says He deleted a version of his app designed specifically for the visually impaired because it hadn’t been updated in two years. As Eleftherio points out in his tweet, she was once very popular God’s pocket The app is still in the App Store even though it received its last update in 2015. Developer Emilia Lazer-Walker I also mentioned Apple is removing “a few” of its old games from the App Store. many of else Developers Sharing the same experience, noting that they haven’t had time to update their apps.

On Apple’s App Store Improvements page, the company says: “We are implementing an ongoing process to evaluate apps, removing apps that no longer work as intended, do not follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.” There is no timestamp on the page, so it’s not immediately clear when Apple last published or updated the post. Apple did not immediately respond to the edgeComment request.

In 2016, Apple said it would begin removing abandoned apps from the App Store. At the time, it also warned developers that they would have 30 days to update their app before it was removed. However, it is unclear whether Apple has consistently applied this rule over the years, or whether it has recently begun a broader survey. Apple also doesn’t explicitly specify what it considers “outdated” — whether that’s based on the time elapsed since the app was last updated, or if it has to do with compatibility with the latest version of iOS.

critics From this policy he argues that mobile apps should remain available regardless of their age, just like older video games that remain playable on consoles. The others say The policy is unnecessarily strict on developers, and claim Apple doesn’t fully respect the work that goes into indie games.

Earlier this month, the Google Play Store similarly announced that it would begin limiting the appearance of apps that “do not target the API level within two years of the latest major release of Android.” Android developers have until November 1, 2022, to update their apps, but they also have the option to apply for a six-month extension if they can’t set the deadline. With both major app stores cracking down on outdated apps, this could cause some developers, especially independent studios, to struggle to keep up.

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